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Friday, 23 February 2007

Pre-mixed bag 'o Chinese soup mix--thanks mom!

In most traditional Chinese households, families make soup all the time. This is called "bo tong" which means "making soup". But this is not your traditional soup like chicken noodle or minestrone--it's a concoction that involves Chinese herb/medicine mixes that are simmered with miscellaneous parts of the chicken or the cow (I will spare you the details).

Anyways, back home I had the pleasure of having my mom and grandma make these soups all the time. It was second nature for us to have our soup accompany our dinner. Well, after hearing about my constant medical problems (flu, throat infection, pink eye...hmm...what did I miss?) my mom gave a package of "ching bo leung" in Cantonese, or what many call a Ginseng Herbal Soup Mix to my sister's friend Tracy to bring over to Seoul. This concoction consists of the following (courtesy of Smile from the Heart):

Ginseng Herbal Soup Mix

  • Korean Ginseng Root
  • Black Date
    Dried Longan Pulp
    Wolfberry Fruit
    Chinese Yam Rhizome
    Solomon’s Seal Rhizome

Health Benefits

  • Nourishes chi- the body's natural energy
  • Nourishes the Blood
  • Calms the mind
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Reinforces antibodies
This ancient blend is supposed to nourish and rejuvenate one's body. Well, let's put my soup making skills to the test. After a few Skype calls back home and some Google Talk instant messages with my dad, I took the necessary steps to make some soup! Let's get it on...

Here are the ingredients that I rinsed quickly in water prior to dumping it into two litres of water:

I luckily had some chicken breast in the freezer, so I defrosted it, sliced it into chunks and added it into the concoction:

After bringing this puppy to a boil, I let it simmer for 1.5 hours...letting the real flavors come out of the "mix"; here is the final product:

I must say I did a darn good job of making this soup! You can either have just the broth or you can eat the ingredients too. We drank the soup but didn't eat much of the leftovers. I did enjoy the longan chunks though. So there you have it...Chinese soup from home. Thanks mom!!! :)


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